There is no doubt we are on the brink of a wave of momentum for consumer virtual reality. Estimates for Augmented and Virtual Reality put the size of the market at 150 bn by 2020, and as creators we understand that this means a once in a career opportunity to build and create for a growing number of people and place products on the most sophisticated graphics platform man has ever created.
It is a fun time to be thinking about the possibilities.
But what if virtual reality has a chance to go farther than previous game or media systems? Can the potential immersion and intensity of the end user experience offer a chance to introduce content that changes their life? And, as the install base grows, collectively can we change the world?
As a creator, it is up to you to imagine the possibilities, get serious about the work, and have fun producing content at the cutting edge. What have others produced and imagined?
- Health Care: Researchers at the University of Georgia have introduced simulations that give users an intense look at what years of drinking soda does to their virtual avatar. Developers are imagining virtual reality as a key component of future preventative health care strategies.
- Jobs: The Department of Veterans Affairs is using virtual reality to assist Veterans with PTSD better prepare for job interviews. Yes, even the VA is at the cutting edge. Developers there view virtual reality as a way to customize the teaching of career oriented skills and placement strategies. They have implemented the technology and are helping people today with it.
- Emotional Intelligence: Filmmaker Chris Milk produced “Clouds Over Sidra”, a full VR film experience that shares the experience of living in a Syrian refugee camp with the goal of building empathy and compassion. As I noted in an earlier article, reviewers talked about crying and having a deeply moving experience in their reviews.
Are their more noble causes than helping us build compassion, stay healthier, and get a job? Those are three fundamental pillars of the human experience already being impacted b y virtual reality. It is exciting to see virtual reality developer tackling these themes and it is breathtaking thinking about what we can create.
Each of us had a moment when we had an amazing experience and virtual reality changed our sense of what is possible. As it spreads around the globe with cheap hardware like Google Cardboard, and there are 7 billion more instances of that moment, we will finally see what’s possible as virtual reality changes the world. We need your imagination….. I hope you will be a part of it.